Virginia Opera, The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s comic masterpiece ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ as its final mainstage opera of the season. The four-act score contains some of opera’s most famous melodies and characters. This production features real-life husband and wife Matthew Burns and Anne-Carolyn Bird in the leading roles of betrothed lovebirds Figaro and Susanna.
‘The Marriage of Figaro’ opens Saturday, Apr. 6, 2013 at Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, Va., followed by additional performances in Norfolk, Fairfax and Richmond, Va. Tickets range from $25 to $114 and are available at www.vaopera.org.
‘The Marriage of Figaro’ is a famous tale of love, revenge and forgiveness that originated as the second installment of the trilogy of Figaro-based plays by Pierre Beaumarchais, the first of which being another operatic favorite: Rossini’s ‘The Barber of Seville.’ This opera marks the first collaboration between Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, whose later collaborations would yield ‘Don Giovanni’ and ‘Così fan tutte.’
When the opera opens, Susanna is preparing to wed Figaro while simultaneously evading the pursuits of employer Count Almaviva and his ‘droit du seigneur.’ The Countess Almaviva, keen to her husband’s infidelity, seeks to uncover his betrayal through a ruse filled with mistaken identities and hilarious happenstances that result in a long-last reunion and, finally, a wedding all set to Mozart’s celebrated score.
“’The Marriage of Figaro’ shows an optimism, a faith in the human heart and its power to regenerate itself and create a better life, if we make up our minds to change,” says director Lillian Groag. “A view of a world without greed, selfishness, mendacity, cruelty, and ultimately ... war.”
This production marks the company debut of Richmond Symphony Music Director Steven Smith, who also serves as Music Director of the Santa Fe Symphony and Chorus and Cleveland Chamber Symphony. Smith was previously the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and is an award-winning composer, being named Ohio Composer of the Year in 2008.
Virginia-native Matthew Burns (Orphée, 2012) returns as mischievous Figaro, while his bride-to-be, Susanna, will be played by real-life bride Anne-Carolyn Bird in her company debut. Opposite them are Aaron St. Clair Nicholson (The Mikado, 2012) and Yunah Lee as the eye-roaming Count and the scheming Countess Almaviva. The large cast also includes anticipated returns by Karin Mushegain (Hansel and Gretel, 2011), Jeffrey Tucker (The Mikado, 2012) and Margaret Gawrysiak (Hansel and Gretel, 2011; A Streetcar Named Desire, 2013).
*Update as of March 18, 2013: Katherine Whyte will replace Yunah Lee as the Countess Almaviva. Please see separate news alert for more information.*
Performance Details and Ticket Information
‘The Marriage of Figaro’ will be performed in Italian with English supertitles projected above the stage. The Virginia Opera Orchestra is provided by the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. Each performance will feature a free 30-minute pre-opera discussion by Virginia Opera’s Dr. Glenn “Dr. Opera” Winters. Tickets range from $25 to $114 and are available at www.vaopera.org. The production opens on Saturday, Apr. 6, in Norfolk, Va., and is scheduled to appear in all three Virginia Opera venues as follows:
Harrison Opera House
Sat., Apr. 6, 2013, 8:00 p.m.
Wed., Apr. 10, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Apr. 12, 2013, 8:00 p.m.
Sun., Apr. 14, 2013, 2:30 p.m.
George Mason University
Fri., Apr. 19, 2013, 8:00 p.m.
Sun., Apr. 21, 2013, 2:00 p.m.
Fri., Apr. 26, 2013, 8:00 p.m.
Sun., Apr. 28, 2013, 2:30 p.m.
Virginia Opera will offer a special Student Night at the Opera performance for ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ in Norfolk on Thursday, April 4, 2013 and in Richmond on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Student Night at the Opera allows students and chaperones to experience the power of live opera, with unparalleled access at reduced ticket prices, in order to broaden appreciation for cultural arts in our community. Visit www.vaopera.org for more details about Student Night at the Opera and how to purchase tickets.
For regularly-scheduled performances in Norfolk and Richmond, students may receive $15 rush tickets. Tickets must be purchased the day of the performance through the Box Office. Discounts are intended for full-time students only and valid student identification is required.